Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review - Finding Style

By on Thursday, July 10, 2014 5 Comments

Jewelry designer block does happen.  It can be frustrating to get stuck in a rut and stumped for new ideas.  So it pays to kick back and grab a book, especially one which introduces you to new components and new approaches to jewelry design.

Irina Miech is a seasoned book author and highly creative instructor who delivers just that - lots of fresh ideas for all sorts of jewelry making.  I just received her latest book for review - Finding Style: How to Use Today’s Versatile Jewelry-Making Components. This 27 project book features different ways to use new components - either to the market or to you - and does a great job of getting creative juices going!

The book is divided into 5 main sections as shown in the contents pages above.  The first one on bezels and settings is a crystal lover`s delight. That`s because Irina shows how rivolis can be quickly set with some pretty readymade bezels. There are now all kinds of designs and for different purposes - pendant, ring and four loop connectors. You don`t have to have wire, metal or beading skills to get gorgeous looking designs!

Gears as components are not necessarily just for steampunk designs.  Irina`s Lantern Cluster necklace shows 4 gears used in different ways.  The first gear acts as the connector for the 3 dangles and the knotted ribbon necklace.  A single round faceted crystal is wired to the gear on the far left.  The middle lantern element is a wiring of several perforated gears and crystals in a stacked design. The rightmost dangle actually consisted of 2 gears wired together with a sandwich of crystals at the edge. Neat!

Her rivets and buttons section is outstanding.  The ability to do simple riveting opens up such much in design possibilities.  Suddenly many rondelle and other metal components have different uses! Irina also covers riveted clasp ends,  how to use the dapping block to curve components and hammer to jazz up designs.

In her tool section, she recommends all sorts of hole punches including the Eurotool EuroPower Punch . I would like to add I also find the EuroPower hole punch very good as it is able to punch holes in thicker metal with ease when the smaller plier types struggle. Leather too.

One of my favorite designs is her Riveted Bloom pendant, a wonderfully eclectic mix. It has the makings of a great bracelet design too.

Only simple hammering and folding with basic tools is required for the Textured Pod pin below :

I also liked her kinetic Stacked Spinner ring which appears in the last section on her book. This project is one of the more challenging ones as it requires the cutting out of the ring from a metal sheet with snips and filing.

The book is suitable for late beginner and up. It is also a worthy addition to the jewelry book collections for the design ideas and great suggestions on new types of findings.

Other Books by Irina Miech:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Thanks so much for this review Pearl!

    I have to say that I have purchased a number of books because of your reviews - and am glad of them! Without your reviews I probably wouldn't have - not knowing how good a book they really were.

    One further thing -

    The Eurotool Power Punch - Do you know you can easily pick it up much cheaper than any other jewelry store offers it (for Canadians anyway) at Princess Auto! Got to love that store! Always something in there that's nifty for us jewelry makers!

  2. This book sounds very interesting especially for a beginner like me, the idea of using so many different components besides the usual beading supplies is wonderful.
    Thank you for the review.

  3. Glad my reviews are useful.
    Aims - wonderful tip about Princess Auto. I wish I knew that before I bought mine!

  4. This sounds like a great book to add to my collection! Even if I never use any of the designs just the new way of looking at things helps at times.

  5. You don't need to repeat any of the designs but create your own based on the numerous ideas and how- tos this book contains!